The launch of Mastercard payment services in Sudan by Faisal Islamic Bank (FIB)* this week, has been heralded as an important milestone as Sudan re-joins the international financial community. FIB will issue Mastercard-branded debit, credit, and prepaid payment cards in Sudan for use online, in-store, and at ATMs. FIB will also connect local businesses to the Mastercard network.
The launch follows an announcement in February that FIB has become the first indigenous Sudanese bank to obtain a card issuing and acquiring license from Mastercard.
Addressing the launch, the CEO of FIB, Moawia Ahmed Elamin highlighted that the bank, that was founded in 1978 and provides financial products that are Sharia-compliant, is a pioneer in technology operations, and strives to provide distinguished banking services.
He pointed out that there are additional cards that will be launched successively, adding that the launch of the service represents a precedent for the bank, after great effort and overcoming several challenges.
In a statement at the beginning of the trajectory in February, Raghav Prasad, Mastercard’s Division President for Sub-Saharan Africa, welcomed FIB into the fold: “Mastercard is continually working to connect more people to the benefits of a world beyond cash across Africa, by offering innovative solutions for different needs.In Sudan, we are committed to developing and growing the payments landscape and are delighted to partner with FIB and Network International to strengthen the domestic payment ecosystem in Sudan, and further increase the adoption of digital payment solutions through the convenience of cards,” he said.
FIB will issue Mastercard-branded debit, credit, and prepaid payment cards in Sudan for use online, in-store and at ATMs. FIB will also connect local businesses to the Mastercard network, helping people and businesses enjoy more convenient, secure and easy-to-use ways to pay everywhere Mastercard is accepted across the globe.
The establishment of Mastercard services in Sudan is a further sign of the country being welcomed back into the international financial fold. This followed news that efforts by the transitional government of Sudan that have allowed the country to reach the Decision Point under the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative as announced in June, after Sudan’s debt arrears to the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the African Development Bank (ADB) were cleared, and that the Paris Club creditors group has agreed to cancel $14.1 billion in Sudanese debt.
The Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS) issued a circular to commercial banks in March, outlining controls and procedures for issuing and accepting international bank and credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, and others.
* Faisal Islamic Bank
Since its establishment in 1978, Faisal Islamic Bank (Sudan) has over 80 branches across Sudan. The Bank takes the lead in providing new sophisticated financial products that are Sharia-compliant. FIB is credited for its role in establishing and consolidating the Islamic finance industry across the globe as it is considered the first Islamic bank established in Sudan and among the first established Islamic banks across the world, where the Bank established the world’s first Shari’a Supervisory Board in 1979, and also established the world’s first Islamic insurance company, Islamic Insurance Company LTD, in 1979.